View Full Version : Headgasket replacement finished

12-22-03, 11:24 PM
We finished my brothers 95 STS this weekend!
We had a lot of lifter clatter for the first 5-10 minutes. We had filled the new filter and used 10W30 Quaker State. We shut it off several times and each time we restarted it it quieted down a little. After a while ( a looooooong while) it quieted down totally.
It got pollution tested and driven today and runs great and temp shows steady just over 200 degrees.

12-23-03, 10:05 AM
Glad you got it fixed... Any chance of a writeup with pictures????

12-23-03, 10:52 AM
Lifter clatter? Any idea why, and how to avoid that? And actually, aren't those parts supposed to be oiled?

12-23-03, 11:21 AM
Lifter Clatter:
I didn't expect the amount we got. It might be a limited amount of oil to the lifters which is fine for normal driving but slow to pump them when they are dry. This wasn't all of them but 2 or 3 that kept clattering.
I planned to do a writeup on prepping the heads if you aren't sending them to a shop. I'm not sure when I'll get to that though.

12-23-03, 12:01 PM
One thing I've seen on head work from a number of shows, is to prevent that clatter on the startup, and to protect from the damage that can inflict is to soak the heads in oil before you mount them, so the lifters and all are well lubed, since it takes the pump a while to cycle oil up into the heads.

12-23-03, 12:15 PM
I wouldn't have expected as much as we got. I talked to my Corvette friend and he said he's been seeing it on other GM engines.
Since we didn't disassemble the heads we shouldn't have needed to soak the lifters.
I put that in to let others know what might happen and not to panic if it happens on startup. BTW, It hasn't happened again.

We spread this out over 2 months because of other projects. That may be why we lost more oil from the lifters than someone who would be able to do the job quickly.

12-27-03, 02:08 PM
I think the lifter clatter may be caused be the time the engine has not been run; lifters under pressureand not moving, for prolonged periods tend to have the oil pushed out and stick from varnish buildup in the minute clearances of a hydraulic lifter

If you want to help keep the lifters operating freely, add one pint of Marvel Mystery Oil to the crankcase, do not overfill. It will get in the lifters and free them from varnish buildup.

When I did the head gaskets on my 93' STS, I put a smear of engine assembly lube on each cam lobe, this gives you a little cushion until the lifters fill completely to take up the slack.

12-27-03, 10:38 PM
Did you follow the pre-start priming procedure from the service manual before you fired it up?

Basically it requires you to crank the engine with the ignition module unplugged until the oil pressure comes up. IIRC, it's in the section dealing with troubleshooting oil pressure problems.

When I did my headgaskets, I liberally bathed the cams & lifter in 10W30 (poured it over & smeared it around) nefore I put the cam covers back on. It probably helped that it was cool that time of year (40-50F). I did the pre-start engine priming & I don't recall clattering lifters.

However, I recently had an oil cooler line come apart & the engine pumped itself out (the "Check Oil Level" message on the DIC did not show up). After I repaired the line and refilled the crankcase, the lifters clattered to beat the band. I was surprised at how long it took for them to pump back up. I was starting to worry that I had some serious top end damage and then the noise quieted down. Phew!

12-28-03, 01:36 AM
After I posted this I talked to my brother about it and he said there was a lot of oil where the heads were stored. So I agree with Growe3 that the spring pressure forced some out.
We poured some on but the engine didn't get started for over a week after the cam covers were installed.

Marvel oil is great for cleaning engines internally. I use it to lube my air tools too.

Aurora By Olds
12-31-03, 12:52 AM
My heads sat for about a month with no oil.
I did replace my intake cams and used a ton of assy. lube. on the tappets and the lobes.
I also oiled the cylinders and whatnot as well.
Just before firing it up, I cranked it over 4 times, 10+ seconds apiece with the coil unplugged.
After that, I plugged it back in, and it fired up and ran perfectly on the first try.
It took a few revs to about 3000 rpms after it was warmed up to get the chain tensioners to build pressure, but it seems to be running perfectly as of now.

08-05-05, 12:59 PM
im about to attempt the heads on my 93 sts. are there many special tools.

08-05-05, 03:21 PM
Read the head gasket post in the tech tips section.

08-05-05, 10:49 PM
Did you follow the pre-start priming procedure from the service manual before you fired it up?

Basically it requires you to crank the engine with the ignition module unplugged until the oil pressure comes up. IIRC, it's in the section dealing with troubleshooting oil pressure problems.

I was wondering the same thing. When I had my bottom end apart, it sat for a couple weeks before getting it running again. I left the coils unplugged and cranked it over 5 or 6 times before plugging in the coils...never heard any lifter clatter.

08-13-05, 01:02 PM
zonie77 im new to this how do i find tech tips section. i really need to know if im going to need special tools to do the head gasket

08-13-05, 03:03 PM
The Cadillac Tech Tips section is right above this section on the forums page.

08-13-05, 10:11 PM
thanks zonie i found it. you are a big help and inspiration for me.

08-13-05, 10:16 PM
i almost forgot, do i absolutly have to have the shop manual, ive got the chilton and the haynes. i also found a machine shop here locally that will time sert the block if i bring only the block, for 500 and w/ a guarantee. what do u think????

08-14-05, 11:54 AM
I've had the engine out of mine...I would definitely recommend you get the factory service manual....a chilton's manual doesn't even make good TP

08-14-05, 02:34 PM
The factory manual covers retiming the cams, lots of details on the car, and diagnostic info. I highly recommend getting the factory manual.

08-14-05, 03:36 PM
93sts, thanks for the kind words! :grouphug: :thumbsup: :dance: